Tank like a girl
Apr 07 2011

Call to Fail

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This morning, as I was skimming through my Twitter timeline, I stumbled over Spinks posting about Blizzard’s new plan to get more tanks to use LFD: Call to Arms.

What a terrible idea. My immediate reaction to this on Twitter was the following summary: a terrible idea that won’t fix anything, aggravates healer and DPS players, and will breed terribad tanks.

I think we all agree that there’s a dearth of tanks using the LFD tool. I haven’t used it since WotLK, at least not on Kadomi. The reasons for this are manifold. I believe there are generally less tanks available than any other role, because it’s not as popular. The general consensus in most groups seems to be that tanks have to know every single pull, take responsibility for the run, and lead the group. Not everyone enjoys this, so there are less tanks. Add to this that LFD in WotLK created a new breed of player, who want to rush through instances at their own fast pace, and who are quick to point fingers at tank or healer after every wipe. Cataclysm heroics take practice, time and patience, and that’s all not factors you usually find in a PUG. In short, tanking can be extremely stressful.

If other tanks are like me, they did guild groups until they had sufficient raid gear, and just do the daily with guild groups. That’s my comfort zone. I know people won’t be stupid, will let me mark at my own pace, pull off CC flawlessly, are a blast to play with.

In comes Call to Arms, and the temptation of some gold, a chance at a rare gem, a chance at a flask/elixir (determined by spec), a good chance of receiving a non-combat pet (including cross faction pets), and a very rare chance at receiving a mount. Well, let me be pissed off for everyone else. Healers have an equally unthankful job, but there’s more of them than tanks. DPS are numerous, and are punished with long queue times. So in order to get a shorter queue, everyone has to watch tanks get rewards like that? Aggravating.

Also, that is assuming that tanks want gold, gems (dirt cheap on my server for the most part), flasks and pets/mounts. Well, I am sorry, if I want those mounts, I’ll just as well solo-farm them, getting lots of gold out of it for less time spent in a dungeon. For me, the biggest deal-breaker is that you have to solo-queue to qualify. I am sorry, but I like my pocket-healers, and I play WoW to have fun with friends. I do partial PUGs, but all the rewards above are zero incentive for me to queue. Why do something that will give me heart palpitations and will make me swear at my screen, and piss off the other group members when I get my goodie bag?

As further consequence, the people who are bad players, who already making LFD such a painful experience, they’ll only make it worse now. People have already mentioned it, but prepare to end up in groups with retribution paladins and dps warriors with a shield, frost deathknights in blood presence, balance druids in bear form, queuing as tanks to get a shot at the shiny, and just making it frustrating and impossible for everyone else.

I think the only way you could encourage tanks to queue up more often would be to give a Valor Point bonus. Change it so that you can do partial pugs, 2 or 3 random people, and offer additional points. And I still don’t know if that would fix it, but it’d be more incentive than dumping shiny things in the lap of a small group of players, and the majority gets nothing for their efforts.

Filed under : ramblings | 27 Comments »

27 Responses to “Call to Fail”

  1. Ratshag says:

    Ya, this. Them rewards is way too small fer the aggravaficationals of herding four damn cats through every pull. I’ll stick with tanking fer me friends, thankee very much.
    Ratshag´s last blog post ..Hello Quest Givers

    Reply

  2. Askevar says:

    I have the mounts, I have the pets. I care nothing about queuing on alts to attempt to get them on alts. I don’t need money, or flasks, or gems that badly – I have a flask maker and a gem cutter.

    Will this entice me to queue up for pugs as a tank at all? No. Not worth the aggravation.

    Hubby said he MIGHT queue up once in a while if he’s feeling like it… but yeah…
    Askevar´s last blog post ..Random Thoughts…

    Reply

  3. Fangtastic says:

    If they want more tanks in pugs they need to give tanks AOE cc… that works on their own group for 5 seconds. I swear I’d enjoy tanking more if they just let me pick mobs up before unloading.

    Reply

    DarthKeller Reply:

    Fang, I FREAKING love this idea! (BTW – 85 rogue and 76 lock, and I STILL love this idea)

    However, I would add one stipulation to it: It can only be applied after the second pull (I tank some, but on a lowbie warrior, and I can always get at least 1 pull while they’re jacking with buffs, and by the time that’s over, we’re getting ready to pull the second group and here’s where you’ll see if you have problems or not)

    At the very least, the ability to SAP a rogue (they seem to be the worst, imo, thinking that stealth hides them from EVERYTHING… It doesn’t rogues, trust me.) Make him stand there for 60 seconds while you move through the dungeon, he’ll learn his lesson real quick.

    Reply

  4. [...] touches on this issue in her post, “Call to Fail”, but I will expand further.  As I wrote about in my “Is WoW The WoW-Killer” post, the [...]

  5. prunetracy says:

    I’ve seen a lot of outrage on this topic today and a lot of support.

    The bottom line is, if the rewards aren’t incentive for you, fine. It will be for some, and so queue times will come down.

    There really is no other way to get people to want to queue other than offering them rewards. Giving them extra valor points doesn’t help as much because they’ll just outgear their need to queue faster, and won’t bring in the tanks who don’t need VP any more. However, giving them access to a large variety of cosmetic items means there’s always the potential for something.

    No, it won’t bring every tank back, but it will bring some. Yes, there’s obviously ways to entice tanks even more, but starting small is definitely better. If queues don’t come down enough, they can tweak.

    Reply

  6. spinks says:

    The thing in my mind is that there will be some people who will happily be lured by the shiny rewards and … maybe they are the players Blizzard wants for WoW in the future.

    They must be much easier to produce content for than those of us who just ignore content that isn’t fun.

    Reply

  7. TheGrumpyElf says:

    I can’t agree more.

    It is not going to get me to tank a random. I have not tanked a random in forever and as long as I am in a guild and can get full guild groups I am pretty sure I never will again.

    If they want me to tank randoms they need to do something about the horrible DPS in them. I am not avoiding them because tanking is hard, it is not. I am avoiding them because bad DPS makes it hard when it shouldn’t be.

    I’ll stick with my guild and miss out on the goodies sadly.

    What bugs me on a selfish level is that my main mount/pet collector is a Hunter. I solo content all the time to farm and have had no luck. Let me get a bag too, it is not like I am going to win anything anyway.

    I trap, silence, misdirect, offtank with pet if needed, kite, protect the healer and still manage to do over 50% of all damage done for the dungeon. Where is my bag?

    If all DPS could do that, I wouldn’t mind tanking randoms.
    TheGrumpyElf´s last blog post ..Make Me Tank I Dare You!

    Reply

  8. [...] at Tank Like A Girl thinks it’s a Call To Fail. Don’t mince words, Kadomi, tell us what you really think! But she does, with a number of [...]

  9. Zin says:

    If such a large chunk of the LFD population weren’t arseholes, tanking in PuGs would be fun. I’m already getting reluctant to PuG on my baby tanks. People are freaking jerks.

    Reply

  10. Zellviren says:

    Unfortunately, giving tanks more Valor Points won’t really help for two reasons:

    1) What prunetracy said.
    2) There’s nothing to buy.

    Because the Valor vendor doesn’t offer anything that you can’t quickly get by farming raid trash or killing the easier bosses, there simply isn’t any incentive to run instances. In WotLK, the Frost gear was better than what was available to 10 man tanks, which kept them in the queue – even at a time when the raid content was being laughed at, people still chose to tank to get more Frost emblems.

    When you add this to the fact that you lose all your Valor when 4.2 lands, it makes it even less likely that you’ll queue once you’ve got what you want.

    Why not have another vendor that dishes out more than badly itemized entry level raid gear? Race-specific archaeology fragments; cross-faction pets; rare mounts; gems; flasks; maelstrom crystals – the list goes on. In short, put up the things that people are finding difficult or laborious to find otherwise. Personally, if it were me, I’d have a “Valorous Reforger” who can get rid of ALL of a particular stat for the one you want.

    As for the Call to Arms idea – Kadomi nailed it. I’m not sure there’s anything I can add.
    Zellviren´s last blog post ..Protection warrior- LF Guild

    Reply

    Kadomi Reply:

    You are absolutely right that VPs wouldn’t work as incentive either. They might maybe work for me, for a short while, because with raiding twice a week, and being slow in progression, my amount of VPs is looooow. I just bought my first piece of T11.

    The JP rewards are all not that hot. You can get better itemized pieces everywhere, so the JPs are absolutely no incentive. All those rewards they want to suppy in Call to Arms would work better on a JP vendor, absolutely. I wouldn’t want the mounts added though. People can farm the mounts, they shouldn’t be a reward.

    I don’t know, LFD doesn’t work for most people, and that’s a community issue. There is no easy fix for LFD. I don’t know what would work, if anything at all.

    Reply

  11. Zellviren says:

    I read recently (and forget where >.<) that the LFD tool is designed for a specific type of player, and that "type" is potentially not going to work well with a tank; particularly a new one learning the ropes.

    I think it was Tales of the Aggronaut, but I'm not sure – well worth a read if you haven't already. :)
    Zellviren´s last blog post ..Protection warrior- LF Guild

    Reply

  12. Stabs says:

    I was very interested when you said this:

    The general consensus in most groups seems to be that tanks have to know every single pull, take responsibility for the run, and lead the group. Not everyone enjoys this, so there are less tanks.

    I think you’re absolutely right, and more, there’s a corresponding expectation that dps do NOT need to know the pulls, to worry about making the run go well nor do they have to accept direction even though they expect the tank to lead.

    More me that’s what killed it. Why would I join a team where 3/5 feel they can slack if they want, that it’s reasonable for them to be terrible so long as the other 2 pick up the slack?

    Reply

  13. Caldazar says:

    I think this will be better for tanks.
    The terribad tanks will be horrible. Good tanks will actually get appreciation for being good now, since the difference will be that much higher.

    DPS will have it worse, but since too many dps is what caused the problem /care

    Only poor poor healers.

    In the end, this whole thing will just advocate running more guild groups, which is a good thing

    Reply

  14. WoWMidas says:

    Clearly, there are many people who won’t be moved by the shinies…folks who prefer their “pocket healers,” for instance.

    (@Askevar – not exactly shocking that someone who already has all those epic mounts is unmoved by this change… I have none of those mounts despite some ~400 days /played… you’re completely off the bell curve.).

    At the margin, though, this move should yield more tanks. Which is the point. And perhaps increasing the number of “fresh” tanks might make the DPS play more cautiously?
    WoWMidas´s last blog post ..Tank shinies and slashed gem prices

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  15. I agree with you. My main is a feral druid, and the bribes offered are pretty pathetic. I’ll tank when I feel like it, not for the chance of a cheapo gem or yet another of the mounts I farmed for months last year!

    Reply

  16. MLO says:

    Honestly, I don’t think this is the way to make it better. I think the reality is that there is a too high expectation that every tank works the same way – and DPS who will NOT use their CC or AoEs.

    I’m a bear who has gotten to the point she only wants to PvP. (Yeah, I realize that a bear PvPing is weird, but I do soooo much better as a bear than a cat.)

    Mokamella on Draenor is my main. I find, though, as a druid tank, WoW has made tanking in most dungeons unfun. They also have a broken iLevel calculator. I found myself – because of my PvP gear (relatively high) – being grouped with DPS and healers who could easily pull aggro off of me. Granted, I was still learning the new rotations at the time, but, it got to the point I just did not want to tank in dungeons at all. I know I am not alone in that. I’m not even talking about heroics here.

    I am not a hard core raider. I have interests other than WoW and spending every minute studying every fight. I actually like discovering new content. It is why I like battlegrounds. Despite being “the same”, they are very different each time I play. This is especially true of Tol Barad. I know I am in the minority of actually liking Tol Barad.

    I know many folks who quit both as healers and as tanks because of the changes rolled out with Cataclysm. It was not just forum QQ. I know these folks in real life. I know guildmates that quit playing because of the perceived refocus on the hardcore raiders.

    The vast majority of players are not hard core players. We have limited time to spend playing the game. We may be in small friendly guilds, but, the reality is, it is difficult to convince people to go into the ultra-long Cataclysm dungeons. And, make no mistake, for semi-casual gamers, they are too long.

    When all is said and done. The real problem with the LFG system is that too many people are just jerks and expect even a level 20 tank to know everything. There is no acknowledgement of the fact that WoW is a GAME.

    The weirdest thing? 85 PvP folks may trash talk – as the normal part of PvP – but there just isn’t the nastiness or meanness of the folks you can often get grouped with in dungeons using LFG.

    When it comes down to it, it is the community as a whole that is the reason for the dearth of tanks. The truth is, out of every 10 soloed LFG, 9 have sucked due to the other people in it.

    Reply

  17. Christman says:

    When I first heard of this, I thought it was a good idea… but I thought about it some and this just won’t work. Not enough incentive for me to put of with the BS. It will not bring experienced tanks into LFD, we’ll keep going with our guildies and friends. I don’t LFD anymore because more often than not, one mistake or bad pull and the peanut gallery starts spouting off ‘you suck,’ ‘fail,’ and ‘gogogo!’ Why bother, I’ll play with the people that make the game fun.

    Reply

  18. Tekai (Onyxia US) says:

    To be honest, I love PUG groups. I -like- the challenge and this Call to Arms thing will be free gold/pets/mounts.

    It gets to a point where you outgear the instance, and most of the healers I end up with either are geared for it or outgear it and I can pretty much facepull every single pull and survive through ridiculous amounts of damage. Then again, that’s what I find fun- Knowing when to time my cooldowns to survive when I’m pulling whole groups that are not meant to be pulled at once. And, even more lullzy, doing higher DPS than the actual DPS. :’3 Ooh TC + Rend + SW + Cleave <3

    Then again…I only log on to do a random heroic and random regular once a day… :/ Maybe it's different for people who are used to functional raid-groups.

    Reply

  19. Everblue says:

    I think the problem is that there is an expectation that heroics will be something you do again and again. There wasn’t anything like that as I can recall in the game until they introduced Badges of Justice in TBC.

    If you make heroic dungeons something you need to constantly grind, then of course they need to be quick and people will be frustrated if it takes a long time to do the dungeon. The LFD tool makes it worse as you get groups where some people are at a high level and want it done quickly, while others might be freshly dinged 85s.

    If however a dungeon is something you do only a few times – maybe once a week – and is something you prepare for, or need to find ingredients for, or might do over a few evenings, then you might retain some “epic” quality. You would also give new level 85s something to work towards.

    Reply

  20. Stefanie says:

    I stopped pugging long ago when DPS never game me time to gain full aggro and just hammered me with hateful words every time I went into one. Then, even if I want to leave because of the meanness of the other players, I get penalized for leaving group. This little incentive certainly won’t get me back into pugs and I do think its is unfair to others especially healers. I’ll farm the mounts and pets like normal and run casually with my guild. Though, the comment above about good tanks being more appreciated in the future might have some merit.

    Reply

  21. Miraj says:

    I am a level 85 DK tank who is learning but nontheless enjoy tanking. However, after reaching 85, I have met to many idiots and wannabees in instances who don’t have the patience to teach and just want to run through these instances earning trinkets. I don’t que for the gold or trinkets, I que for the challenge and excitement of the instance. Even after a wipe, I go back to see if there was something I missed. I don’t blame the healer or the DPS. I blame myself for not pulling correctly or understanding the enemy. In the last few weeks I have been reluctant to que because I do not know these instances well enough, and I have not found a mentor except for youtube. I read the blogs, I view and evaluate other tanks and there style. I que as DPS using Unholy spec to learn. I am however considering DPSing as a blood spec and being an off tank. Why? So that I may learn from others. In order to defeat the enemy I must understand myself and the enemy. However, others must also be patient and teach. I was recently in stonecore as a DPS. Wiped out 3 times. On returning, the tank left and some character wanted to point out to me that the Priest (healer) had a higher DPS than me. If that is the case, then who is then healing. Or upon entering the instance the rogue needs a BRB or care for the baby. I am patient. My goal to enjoy myself as I wreck havoc. Everyone in the instance has a particular job. If we are all to remain alive without wiping out, everyone must do their job. I for one, listen to all advice. Why? Because often times, the words of wisdom come from others and their experiences. As a tank and DPS, I make it my personal responsibility to ensure that everyone survives. That often includes chasing down the stragglers who want to hurt the healer or the hunter. In truth, the tank may be considered an important key to survival. However, they are only a part of the puzzle. Imagine Mona Lisa without a head. The trinkets are nice, but that is not the reason for tanking. However, the aggravation of others who are not up for the challenge is extremely frustrating and disappointing. I for one will not give up. Tank is Who I am, What I am.

    Reply

  22. Eveary says:

    I don’t mind the extra prizes you receive for having to deal with an unusual group. I’m usually a healer or DPS, but I often am thankful for an excellent tank that doesn’t make me have to pull unnecessary strings to keep the group surviving somehow. Being choosy with guilds and also new to a server also may make it a little bit harder to just ask friends or guild mates to do dungeons with you. They’re sometimes often busy doing the LFD themselves (and maybe not wanting you to see their ‘recount’), or gathering.

    While I wouldn’t mind a tank that didn’t make me just ‘leave group,’ receiving higher benefits to remind them to ‘be a decent tank and the group won’t strand you,’ I can agree when it becomes time that you’re used to the server well enough that it would look unfair to your guild mates, or reliable friends you’ve made. DPS including.

    Reply

  23. Caldazar says:

    So, as blizzard predicted,
    Call to Arms works pretty well.
    Lessers queues for everyone. No insanely huge influx of horrible tanks.

    Reply

  24. TastyOrange says:

    Personally I like it, it’s like getting a shiny reward for having to put up with assholes while gearing my bear :)

    Reply

  25. Jilliterate says:

    Late to the party commenting here, but this was so refreshing to read, nonetheless. I quit WoW just before Cataclysm came out, and the LfD system was the number one reason for that. It destroyed my love of the game. Now the Scrolls of Ressurection have renewed my interest, and I’ve come back, sniffing around to see if the same problems exist.

    I’m a pretty humble player; I’m never going to be a part of any server-first raid groups. And unlike most folks, I actually enjoyed doing instances. If I get gear or emblems, great, and if not, well, I’m still playing a game, right? Fun times? And then the LfD tool was added. Suddenly, what little respect players had for each other was gone, because everyone was infinitely more replaceable, and some sort of hidden speed run system was added to the game that I apparently was never told about. My DPS and healer toons could keep up with it pretty well, but my poor little prot warrior, who was just starting to hit tank puberty? She didn’t stand a chance. Any LfD group that queued inevitably had a few overgeared players who would dismissively say, “That’s ok, we’ll just DPS everything down” when I would ask for a few seconds to get control as a tank. The fact that I would like a chance to properly learn how to tank said dungeons was irrelevant, and eventually someone would get overconfident and pull something they couldn’t DPS down. I was so intimidated that I was driven from tank puberty back to tank infancy.

    Whether or not this Call to Arms was effective, I don’t know, but I gotta say, for every bad tank that the LfD system has produced, another potential tank (good or bad) was likely driven away. I’m sure there were quite a few like me, on the cusp of starting to tank but scared off by the thankless job of being a babysitter whose only purpose is to wrangle up out-of-control DPS rather than properly tank anything.

    (Great post, though!)

    Reply

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